Explore BrainMass

Explore BrainMass

    Operations Research

    Operations research, or management science, is the application of advanced analytical methods in mathematics to complex business decision-making problems. By using mathematical methods, analysts can model business decisions and solve optimization problems (such as profit maximization or cost minimization problems) using linear and nonlinear programming and statistical analysis. These problems are simplified with the use of computer programs such as Excel Solver.

    Linear Programming (LP)

    Linear programming is concerned with the optimization (minimization or maximization) of a linear function while satisfying a set of linear equalities and/or inequalities (collectively known as constraints). Linear programming in operations research can be applied to a variety of problems.

    Resource allocation: The most typical problems in business are resource allocation problems. For example, a common type of resource allocation problem is the problem of product mix, which looks at the optimal mix of products that will maximize profit subject to resource constraints such as limited machine time or a limited quantity of a necessary input. A solution to this problem will also provide other valuable information that may allow the student to identify bottlenecks, find the range over which the unit profit can change without affecting the product mix, identify the marginal benefit of adding additional units of the limited resource, and find the range of quantity over which the availability of the resource can change without affecting the identity of the bottleneck in the system.

    Blending: Blending problems are problems that involve finding the optimal blend or mix of ingredients in order to minimize costs and satisfy some additional requirement. For example, crude oil blending allows refineries to mix different crude oil products to achieve some optimal and consistent product. Similarly, ingredients in animal feed stock may be combined in different amounts to achieve some optimal blend that meets minimum nutritional requirements.

    Queuing: Queuing models look at resource decisions such as determining optimal inventory levels to minimize costs in the face of fixed ordering costs (such as delivery costs), carrying costs for units on hand, seasonal price fluctuations, and fluctuations in demand (and costs associated with stock outs).

    Scheduling: Scheduling problems include problems such as personnel staffing, project tasks, and determining the optimal coverage of sporting events.

    Network flow and network optimization: Network flow problems are a special case in linear programming that look at things like transportation or routing problems, critical path analysis (project management), the assignment problem, and other flow problems.

    Facility location: Facility location problems look to minimize things like transportation costs, or address other criteria such as taking advantage of price-differentials in the case of low-cost labour in other jurisdictions.  Facility location problems also include problems such as floor planning.

    Investment decisions: Linear programming can also be used to solve investment problems such as designing the optimal portfolio to minimize, or hedge, risk.

    Nonlinear Programming

    Nonlinear programming problems are similar to linear programming problems in that they involve the optimization of an objective function while satisfying a set of equalities and/or inequalities. However, unlike linear programs, nonlinear programs exist where the objective function or some of the constraints are nonlinear. For example, linear problems may become nonlinear problems if one of the cost functions exhibits economies of scale.

    Integer Programming

    Integer programming refers to linear or nonlinear optimization problems where some of the variables are required to take on discrete values. They can be modeled with binomial variables that take on values of either zero or one. Many business decision problems require integer programming because their variable units must be whole numbers. For example, it would not make sense for a optimal solution to require a company to build half a factory in one location, to produce only one-third of a widget, to keep 20 and 1/8 units of inventory on hand, to hire less than one person, or to route half a bus one way and the other half another. Thus program designers are faced with a finite set of alternatives and face discrete decision problems.

    Dynamic Programming

    Dynamic programming involves problems that require a sequence of decisions over time, where one decision must follow logically from the preceding outcome. Many investment decisions are modeled using dynamic programming, because sell, hold, or buy decisions can be programmed in the model based on fluctuations in the prices of securities.

    Monte Carlo Simulation

    Monte Carlo methods involve repeated random sampling in order to obtain variables or outcomes. Therefore, by running the simulation again and again, a computer program can provide results in the form of statistical probabilities. The name derives from the fact that the simulation can be likened to gambling at a casino, recording your winnings, and determining from this information the probability of winning your next hand. 


    Photo by M. B. M. on Unsplash

    © BrainMass Inc. brainmass.com May 30, 2020, 11:04 am ad1c9bdddf

    BrainMass Solutions Available for Instant Download

    Price-Per-Pound Report for Investors

    Email From Fred and Carrie Date: December 1 Subject: Price-Per-Pound Report for Investors Hi, Thanks for helping us examine the price-per-pound model. The Report you create will help us learn more about the potential profit and allow us to make decisions that will be best for our business. 1. We need you to start by res

    Petroco Service Station: Exponentially smoothed forecast & MAPD

    The manager of the Petroco Service Station wants to forecast the demand for unleaded gasoline next month so that the proper number of gallons can be ordered from the distributor. The owner has accumulated the following data on demand for unleaded gasoline from sales during the past 10 months: Month Gasoline Demanded (gal.) O

    Qualitative Research Design Questions

    I need help answering the following qualitative questions: 1. Discuss at least three different data collection methods used in qualitative research. When would they be appropriate? What are the limitations inherent in those methods? 2. I also need help discussing the common characteristics and phases of qualitative research?

    An elaborate transshipment problem formulation

    KanTech Corporation is a global distributor of electrical parts and components. Its customers are electronics companies in the United States, including computer manufacturers and audio/visual product manufacturers. The company contracts to purchase components and parts from manufacturers in Russia, Eastern and eastern Europe, an

    Three Types of Linear Programming Application Problems

    1. Great Northwoods Outfitters is a retail phone-catalog company that specializes in outdoor clothing and equipment. A phone station at the company will be staffed with either full-time operators or temporary operators 8 hours per day. Full-time operators, because of their experience and training, process more orders and make fe

    Leadership Training Programs

    1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of IHG's Virtual Leadership Development Program for (a) the company and (b) the employees? 2. Many companies are using a blend of technological and traditional methods. What other traditional methods, if added to current one, would make the training program more effective? 3. Do

    Numericals for Inventory Model

    1. Walmart Inventory As a manager at Wal-Mart, you have just realized that the store frequently runs out of Nutella spread jars. You are suspecting that there might be a problem with the replenishment policy. Thus, you have decided to gather more data. The demand for Nutella turns out to be normally distributed. The mean

    Two key competencies for global corporate leadership

    Review the RAND report, New Challenges for International Leadership: Lessons From Organizations With Global Missions, from this week's resources. Consider the competencies needed for leaders of international organizations. Provide a one page explanation of two key competencies required for global leadership. Then, explain how

    Hofstede's Cultural Dimensions in International Business

    Use Hofstede's characteristics to differentiate international and domestic business operations. Identify the key characteristics that drive business decisions on an international and domestic level. Part 1: Pick three individual countries, one in the Middle East, one in Asia, and one in Europe. Apply Hofstede's characteristic

    Closing a business letter for customers

    I would like to write a letter on closing of business for a landscape company and to thank the customers for their business as well as give them another company to look at.

    Ethics within an Organization

    The CEO has assigned you the responsibility of educating the leaders within the organization of the importance of maintaining an ethical culture. The tone of the presentation should be of a persuasive nature, as you will also be asking these leaders to take this initiative to each of their areas. As you compile this presentation

    Coca Cola Environmental Scenarios

    Environmental scenarios: What might the future look like given different environmental trends and needs in 20 years? Explain which trends are likely to have the most impact on your organization and region. Explain which trends are likely to have predictable outcomes and which may have unpredictable ones.

    Easy project on Management

    Your group is a management team for a large electronics manufacturing company. You are tasked with selecting the best software packages for the firm's materials requirements planning (MRP), capacity requirement planning (CRP), enterprise resource planning (ERP), supply chain management, inventory control, shop floor control, and

    Nike Comprehensive Analysis

    Analyze publicly available information about a Fortune 500 Company (Nike) and develop an assessment of the corporate strategy and its ability to increase competitive advantage. Obtain and analyze information at the company, industry and market levels using various databases and reports found in the AIU library, in addition to

    Queuing model for single server system

    Queuing theory is widely used and applied in the field of operations management. Decisions about resources and assets to deploy in service industries like banking, hospitality, travel and federal offices are based on applications of queuing theory. There are several queuing or waiting line models available which can be applied t

    Alaska Coffee cost-volume-profit and recommendations

    Read the following case study: Motivated by his ambitions and previous work in coffee shops, Angelo is moving to Barrow, Alaska, to open a shop he has named Alaska Coffee. Angelo intends to sell coffee, espresso, and a couple of food items. He has signed a lease for a shop on one of the main streets and is moving in. His pare

    Nike case study video

    Review the Nike case study, which can be viewed by accessing the following link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5uYCWVfuPQ Once you have viewed the case scenario, respond to the following questions, with thorough explanations and well- supported rationale: 1. These workers state the "only thing they have is their work." T

    Water Heater Life Cycle Cost

    I have attached the document as well. Life Cycle Costing looks at not only the purchase price of an acquisition but also the operating, maintenance, training costs, warranty provisions and other elements which either increase or decrease the anticipated life time cost of a product. Life cycle cost can be an important factor

    Case Method of Data Collection: Worldviews

    Post an assessment of the alignment between professional and academic worldviews within your doctoral research: Be sure to include the below in the assessment 1. Briefly describe whether your perspective as a qualitative researcher aligns more closely with either Yin or Stake's worldview. Be sure to include illustrative ex

    Qualitative Research Described

    research how qualitative research is used in your field. Using this information, write an essay that describes how qualitative research tools can be used to aid in decision making within your field. Be sure your essay addresses the following questions/topics: 1. Describe specific qualitative methods and tools that could be

    Organization Research

    explore the topic of how research is conducted in organizations to address problems or issues. Then, select a company that is of interest to you, and respond to the following questions/topics: 1. Briefly describe your company. Identify potential problems or issues (current or future) that your company might address with a r

    Process Design Matrix Explanation

    Complete the Process Design Matrix. (attached) Develop a Executive Summary in which you identify appropriate design approaches for the selected product and service used in the Process Design Matrix. Differentiate the service process and the manufacturing process. Explain the reasons for the differences. Explain how this c

    Executive Compensation and bank performance

    Identify an applied business problem for the basis of your study. You can choose the problem for your project; but, you may consider selecting a problem related or similar to your proposed Doctoral Study problem. My business problem is to explore the relationship between executive compensation and organization performance in the

    Futurist Leadership Assignment

    Futurist Leadership Most strategic planning processes include conducting a SWOT analysis to assess the organization's external and internal environments to identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats to the organization in the short term (1-5 years). On the other hand, scenario planning allows leaders to im

    Research Quality Criteria

    Please Answer. A minimum of 3 citations is required. 1. As an independent scholar, what does the concept of "research quality" mean to you? Explain, and provide supporting examples. 2.In your opinion, what are the most critical components for evaluating the quality of a quantitative or qualitative research study? Explain, and

    Cost of Production Effects

    Dundas Bike Components Inc. of Wheelville, Illinois, manufactures bicycle wheels in two different sizes for the Big Bike Co. assembly plant located across town. David Dundas, the firm's owner-manager, has just received Big Bike's order for the next six months. Look at attached file

    Lean Manufacturing / Six Sigma

    This solution is a broad college study guide covering various aspects of the Six Sigma methodology and processes in Operations Research. 1. Draw a SIPOC diagram for a small, independent bike repair shop that specializes in variety of services. Do not write any narrative. Manufacturers Labor

    Predict the data required to measure a process

    Suppose that a firm is considering moving from a batch process to a line process to better meet evolving market needs. What concerns might the following functions have about this proposed change? Marketing Finance Human Resources Accounting Information Systems 2-3 pages long

    Procurement & Supply Chain IT integration

    Integration of Technology Technology has changed the way we conduct business on a daily basis. A number of organizations have opted for integrating systems and sharing information with their counterparts. Using the Internet, research information technology (IT) systems for supply chains. Then respond to the following: As

    Literature Review Explanations

    Conduct a literature review which you critically analyze and synthesize six articles (three quantitative and three qualitative) connected to a definite business problem. For each article, complete the following: • Critical Analysis o Identify the problem. o Describe the major finding(s). o Describe the strengths and we